University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Department of Anthropology

FB twitter

Cris Erin Hughes


User Photo
  • Address:
    Department of Anthropology
    607 S Mathews Ave.
    M/C 148
    Urbana, IL 61801
  • Telephone: (217) 333-9694
  • Email:


I'm interested in how biological science informs social science issues in the medico-legal death investigation. My current research includes 1) the uses and limitations of forensic DNA phenotyping regarding race and hair/eye pigmentation 2) inferring trends in morphogenetic variation of Mexicans for improving identification of deceased undocumented border crossers.


  • University of California at Santa Cruz, Anthropology, Ph.D., 2010
  • University of California at Santa Cruz, Anthropology, M.A., 2007
  • University of Florida, Anthropology, B.A., 2004


  • 2013 Society of Forensic Anthropology ATLAS Research Grant ($1000): Web-Based Forensic Anthropology Case Database for Research Purposes
  • 2012-4 UIUC Interdisciplinary Innovation Initiative Research Grant ($189,000): Uses and Limitations of Genomic Research in Forensic Science
  • 2007 International Association for Identification Robert L. Johnson Grant ($2,000)
  • 2005-7 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow


Journal Articles

  • Kistler, L, A Ratan, L R. Godfrey, B E. Crowley, C E. Hughes, R Lei, Y Cui, M L. Wood, K M. Muldoon, H Andriamialison, J J. McGraw, L P. Tomsho, S C. Schuster, W Miller, E E. Louis, A D. Yoder, R S. Malhi, and G H. Perry. "Comparative and population genomic analyses of Madagascar’s extinct, giant ‘subfossil’ lemur." Journal of Human Evolution (2015):
  • Verdu, Paul, Trevor J. Pemberton, Romain Laurent, Brian M. Kemp, Angelica Gonzalez-Oliver, Clara Gorodezky, CE Hughes, Milena R. Shattuck, Barbara Petzelt, Joycelynn Mitchell, Harold Harry, Theresa William, Rosita Worl, Jerome S. Cybulski, Noah A. Rosenberg, and Ripan S. Malhi. "Patterns of admixture and population structure in native populations of northwest North America." PloS Genetics DOI (2014): 10.1371/journal.pgen.1004530.
  • Cui, Y, J Lindo, CE Hughes, J Johnson, A Hernandez, BM Kemp, J Ma, R Hernandez, B Petzelt, J Mitchell, D Archer, JS Cybulski, and RS Malhi. "Ancient DNA analysis reveals temporal continuity of complete mitochondrial genomes from the mid-Holocene to the present-day on the Northwest Coast of North America." PloS one (2013): 8.7:e66948.
  • Hughes, CE, M Tise, L Trammell, and B Anderson. "Cranial Morphological Variation among Contemporary Mexicans: Regional Trends, Ancestral Affinities, and Genetic Comparisons." American Journal of Physical Anthropology 151.4 (2013): 506-517.
  • Hughes, CE, C Juarez, L Zephro, G Fowler, and S Chacon. "Past or Present? Differentiating California Prehistoric Native American Remains from Forensic Cases: An Empirical Approach." International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 22 (2012): 110-118.
  • Hughes, CE, C Juarez, T Hughes, A Galloway, and G Fowler. "A Simulation for Exploring the Effects of the "Trait List" Method's Subjectivity on Consistency and Accuracy of Ancestry Estimations." Journal of Forensic Sciences 56.5 (2011): 1094-1106.
  • Hughes, CE, and C White. "Crack Propagation in Teeth: A Comparison of Perimortem and Postmortem Behavior of Dental Materials and Cracks." Journal of Forensic Sciences 54.2 (2009): 263-66.